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Operational & Environmental Considerations

First you needed to understand the existing activities in the area, and now you’re ready to find a site with the environmental and operational conditions that fit your business model. Remember, you’ll need to access your site frequently to deploy and maintain gear, tend your crops, and harvest product. A site that's hard to access will increase labor costs — one of your biggest expenses.

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Questions

Operational Conditions

Having optimal operational conditions means your site is convenient to get to and reasonably close to waterfront access points (e.g., commercial wharf, marina, boat launch) where you can access your boat, load and unload gear, and offload market-ready product. The site should also be relatively easy to work with under normal sea conditions. You don't want a site that is routinely wave exposed or has strong currents.

During the growing season, you will need to visit your site frequently for activities such as installing gear, planting seed, keeping up with routine farm work, repairing gear, and harvesting product. Travel time to and from your site can really add up, especially since labor is one of the biggest expenses on a sea farm. You need to consider how you will get gear to and from your site to install and repair it and how you will offload your market ready product while adhering to DMR Bureau of Public Health guidelines.

Environmental Conditions

Ideal environmental conditions mean that the water has the right characteristics (e.g., temperature, food availability, current velocity) for your crops to grow well. A site with good environmental conditions will produce healthy crops, giving you a high-quality product with good shelf life. A site that is a poor environmental match for your crops can mean cripplingly slow growth rates, high mortalities, and a low quality product.

Variables such as temperature, salinity, current velocity, food availability, and bottom type dictate whether your crops will thrive and how long they will take to grow to market size.

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